A recent study has determined that Yellowstone National Park’s “supervolcano” holds much more magma within it than researchers originally believed. This new study is likely to lead to a better understanding of the volcano. As well as the hazards it may pose in the future. However, the researchers are quick to note that these findings do not suggest that an eruption is imminent at the popular national park. Nor does it mean that the volcano is more dangerous than it was thought to be before the findings.
New Study Provides Experts With “Clearer Image” Of The “Supervolcano”
According to one of the researchers in the study, this latest discovery will help scientists understand what is happening in the area even better than they did before. It’s all about obtaining a “clearer image.”
“This is about getting a clearer image of what is down there,” notes Brandon Schmandt who helped author the study. “And what has been down there for a while.”
“MSU researcher Min Chen’s creativity and skill brought seismic wave imaging methods into sharper focus,” notes a recent Twitter post detailing the study and the resulting revelations. According to the post, this led scientists to uncover more information about “the amount of molten magma under Yellowstone’s volcano.”
MSU researcher Min Chen’s creativity and skill brought seismic wave imaging methods into sharper focus, revealing more information on the amount of molten magma under Yellowstone’s volcano. @EESMSU @CMSE_at_MSU @msuresearch https://t.co/WgK48FTtUW— MSU College of Natural Science (@MSUNatSci) December 2, 2022
This “supervolcano” is located on the Wyoming side of Yellowstone National Park. It is often referred to as the Yellowstone Caldera. The feature was created hundreds of thousands of years ago after a powerful eruption in the region. The Yellowstone Caldera is a huge “bowl”-like area that is 30 to 40 miles wide. An eruption from this volcano could have lasting effects on the atmosphere. It even has the potential to block out the sun for months.
The Images Reveal More Liquid Magma Beneath The Surface
The new study produced important images detailing the amount of magma that exists beneath the Yellowstone volcano.
“Although our results indicate that Yellowstone’s magma reservoir contains substantial melt at depths that fueled prior eruptions, our study does not confirm the presence of an eruptible body or imply a future eruption,” the scientists reveal in the study.
“The uncertainty about how melts are distributed means that more melt is not necessarily more hazardous,” adds one of the researchers in an article. However, researchers are calling for continued monitoring of the supervolcano to get a clearer grasp on any future changes.